I have been reading last year's guide for reference, and it has been interesting to look back at all of the projections. I was astounded after reading Justin Goldman's "Goalies to Watch" section - he was on the money.
Dobber here - I'll be taking your fantasy hockey questions throughout the day in the forum right here.
Raise your hand if you'd be surprised to see Peter Regin record 60 points in 2010-11? (FYI, both of my hands are down.)
I am on twitter (angus_j), and am giving absolutely nothing away to my 1000th follower. Most of the DobberHockey crew is kicking around there as well. (@DobberHockey) @AlexSerenRosso , @HockeyScribe (Van Horne), @TheGoalieGuild (Goldman).
Toronto is reportedly interested in Simon Gagne. Considering Nikolai Kulemin is currently the top left winger, this doesn't surprise me. Gagne would be a great fit on a line with Bozak and Kessel - speed and enough defensive ability to cover for his linemates.
One contract negotiation I am really looking forward to - Zach Parise. He took a HUGE pay cut a few years ago (he has one year left on a deal that pays him $3.125 million annually).
After seeing all of his 2003 draft peers break the bank (Staal, Perry, Getzlaf, Kesler, Burns, Fleury, and so on), the Koivu contract in Minnesota is probably just icing on the cake.
I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like Gagne has been around forever. He was on the Canadian team that won gold in 2002, and he turned 30 only a few months ago. Still lots of hockey left.
Van Riemsdyk is going to benefit in a big way if/when Gagne is traded away. It's tough to say what kind of player he will become, but with his size/skill package, even at the low end he projects to be a very good top-six scorer.
Eric Belanger is close to signing somewhere. He's a solid depth option in many fantasy leagues, especially those that count faceoff wins.
Matt Cullen was able to get $3.5 million per from the Wild. He is better than Belanger, but not by that much.
Ryan O’Marra is a perfect example of why drafting for character alone in the 1st round isn’t the best idea. Drafted ahead of Hanzal, Rask, Bergfors, Oshie, and more, O’Marra had a measly 18 points in 74 games with Edmonton’s AHL farm team last year.
Washington prospect Patrick McNeill signed a one-year, two-way contract yesterday. I really like his game – he competes hard in the defensive zone and has offensive upside. The Caps won’t want to graduate three rookies at once (Carlson and Alzner being the other two), but McNeill is very close to being NHL ready.
If you are wondering why so many of my thoughts today are with regards to one-way and two-way contracts, I am in the midst of research on the subject for the Fantasy Guide.
It sounds as if Anton Stralman is headed to arbitration. He has a boatload of offensive potential, and started to show some of it last season with Columbus. He even earned the trust of Ken Hitchcock for a short while – as a one-dimensional offensive defenseman, that is significant praise.
Unless Columbus acquires a defenseman before the 2010-11 season (Bieksa rumours), Stralman is the power play quarter back. Kris Russell is a great skater and he creates offense transitionally, but he lacks Stralman’s ability to run the point and distribute the puck.
Nashville signed Jamie Lundmark to a two-way contract. He will probably only see 20-30 games unless the Predators get bit by the injury bug. Lundmark has a ton of talent but has developed himself into a pretty versatile player over the past few years. I’m surprised he wasn’t able to find a one-way contract from at least one team out there.
I have a hunch he chose Nashville because he sees a terrific opportunity to earn a spot on one of the top three lines out of training camp.
A little dust-up at Washington's development camp: